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Christ Church
Billericay, Essex

 

Registered Charity No: 1131650

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Liz FisherYouth Update – June/July 2016

Liz Skudder, Youth Outreach Worker

Shortly after the last update the Friday evening Youth Group had three very special visitors - Bishop John of Bradwell, Mark Tiddy the Bradwell Area Youth Adviser,and Rev Margaret Fowler joined us for an evening of football, chatting and most importantly the grand opening of the youth work notice boards. If you have been in the atrium recently you’ll have noticed that the wall hanging of Moses is now gone and there are two new notice boards in its place. The notice boards will be regularly updated with youth group news and other important events, so please keep an eye out for what is going on.

I have been very busy in June and July teaching years 7 and 8 with Schools Ministry Billericay (Ruth, and Gary).  Lessons about Christian Worship followed the Mayflower High School Year 7 trips to Rochester Cathedral and Gravesend Gurdwara, and Year 8 had a tough time getting their heads around salvation as part of their lessons about the life of Jesus. I had some really good conversations with both year groups and members of staff during the time I spent in school. Ruth (SMB worker and Key Stage 3 co-ordinator) has begun her maternity leave – so there is going to be lots of extra work to do in September within Mayflower School.

Sue, Ruth, Lydia and I also spent a morning at Buttsbury Junior School with four Year 6 classes, discussing the transition from Junior School to Secondary School. A lot of Year 6 will be going to Mayflower in September so the lessons are a good opportunity to learn some names and faces before the academic year starts again.

The 15 young people who booked places at SOLID were joined by Trish, Sean, Darren, Claire and myself for a whole weekend in at Stubbers Activity Centre. They had lots of fun learning about our God who can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:14-21) and getting wet on various outdoor activities. You can have a look at the video here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C_czUVoCWw.

Please continue to pray for the young people and leaders as they walk together over the next year. We are going back to SOLID in 2017 and hoping to attend Soul Survivor 2017 as well.

Falcon Afloat

Falcon Afloat is overseen by the Churches Pastoral Aid Society (CPAS) and provides a break from regular life for disadvantaged young people. CPAS have been running Falcon and Venture holidays for a number of years.

Please pray for me and my husband, Ray, as Falcon Afloat takes place from 23 – 28 July. We are overall leaders for the first time this year and have spent months preparing the four days of camp. We will be joined by seven adult helpers from across the country, the Fellowship Afloat Charitable Trust Team, and of course 20 young people with an age range between 10 - 14 years. I am excited to be taking 4 young people from Christ Church, so please pray that they would come to know Jesus in a deeper way and experience His love at Falcon.

We will be taking a break after Falcon Afloat and I will be back at work in the middle of August. Have a great summer!
Liz

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Liz FisherYouth Update - 2nd June 2016

Liz has been busy since August of last year. Over the academic year there have been lots of opportunities to share the gospel and spend time with the young people at youth group and church families. We’re almost half way through the last term of the year and it is a wonder where the time has gone.

Since returning from Kandersteg in August, Liz has been back in school running the Mayflower lunchtime group and supporting the work of Schools Ministry Billericay. In October they were welcomed into Mayflower to run a Prayer Space for around 30 Religious Studies groups. Liz, along with Gary, Ruth, Shirley, Jane and Jen provided space for the young people to explore their relationship with prayer and worship. The young people welcomed the challenge of reflecting on their lives and thinking about communicating with God. Young people are busy all the time at school, so a quiet hour in the week is unusual. The R.S. department were grateful for the space too. Please pray for the young people who came through the prayer space during the week. SMB are hoping that the Prayer Space will return in October 2016.

Looking back over the latter half of the term, the focus was on those visiting the building. Year 10 experienced what it is like to be cold in the church building and helped set up for filling shoeboxes as part of a Slum Survivor evening. Margaret and Liz welcomed Year 3 to church for a morning of discovery. Christ Church welcomed Rainbows and Cubs for their own Carol Service for the very first time and then Beavers, Scouts, Brownies and Guides followed later on in the week. On Christmas Eve the doors were opened for 800 people to join us in our Christingle Celebrations.

In the New Year, Liz began to look at renovating the small hall. Darren, Les and Graham did all the hard work with moving the TV and the young people have appreciated having the room ‘round the other way. Ignite have also liked the change too, saying it makes the room feel bigger. More changes are afoot having had the faculty for new notice boards agreed by the Archdeacon of Southend.

The youth group has been raising money for various charities, the most recent being the Make A Wish Foundation. There is a steady attendance of 25 a week with 100 names on the books. If you would like to help out at youth group, please do let Liz know.

The Ignite team and the Friday Night Team have been working together and met on St George’s Day/Shakespeare’s Birthday/The Cockcroft’s wedding anniversary for a champagne breakfast! The met to discuss how to reach out to young people and begin the conversations about the work of both teams. It was a really good morning and hopefully there will be more opportunities for training and prayer together.

Since Easter Liz has been to Rochester Cathedral and Gravesend Gurdwara with year 7 and has begun to plan for SOLID! She is very excited about the 15 young people who have booked their places. The Friday night team will be welcoming the Bishop of Bradwell and the Bradwell Area Diocesan Youth Officer on 17th June. Finally, Liz and her husband Ray are leading Falcon Afloat this year, in Tollesbury – a massive undertaking but they both have plenty of experience and prayer behind them.

Please keep praying for the young people as they come into our congregation and building. There is much more to report, so please speak to Liz if you would like to know what is going on

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Building Bulletin 2015-10 Page 1

Building Bulletin 2015-10 Page 2

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Margaret FowlerBuilding Bulletin - August 2015
Building a Space for the Community

Christ Church buildings have served the local Church and the community extremely well since it was built in 1965 and we should be proud of the increasing number of activities that take place week-by-week in our buildings. 

However, it cannot have escaped anyone’s notice that the roof to the main building is leaking badly and the interior of the Church and halls is looked tired and dated.  Added to which, a few months ago we learned that what we thought was a fairly straightforward problem with our drainage has turned out to be a major problem that will cost at least £26,000 to repair.

Indeed, as I have been writing this Bulletin news has just come in that NHS Blood Donors, who have been hiring the main Church for blood donor sessions for a considerable time, have now rejected our building as no longer being a suitable place to hold sessions presumably due to rainwater leaking into the building. 

In April this year, aware of the need to get the roof and drains repaired, Les Sheppard and I attended a Capital Projects Funding Day organised by Chelmsford Diocese to help Churches understand the process required to improve facilities and make repairs to their Churches.  We began the day wondering whether this seminar would be of any help to us at all, because at first it seemed to us that only ancient Churches could apply to Trusts for funds for repairs. 

However, as the day developed, we began to realise that all things were possible – we just had to be prepared to put a lot of time and effort into our research and funding applications, and we also had to be prepared to do some fund-raising ourselves.  In fact we were already ahead of ourselves and had been fund-raising hard to pay for repairs to the Church tower. 

Les and I heard what other Churches had accomplished by embarking on re-building and extension projects and we learned that some Churches now have everything from new toilets and a kitchen, to a side Chapel, a Post Office, a Café, suites of rooms for hire, conference facilities – the list went on.

We learned that not only might we be helped by grants for repairs to the Church by applying to the right Grant-making Trusts, but it is also possible that funding might be available so that Christ Church could be re-modelled to suit the Church and the community’s needs better in the future.  Les and I therefore came away from that day very encouraged and excited by what we had learned.

So, soon after the new Christ Church District Council was appointed in April 2015 the DCC went to the High Leigh Conference Centre for an overnight stay to discuss what we might want to do with our buildings.  Les and I gave presentations on what we had learned, and we were very fortunate that Kevin, husband of Sue Goldsmith, is an architect and he gave a presentation on what we might be able to do to improve the look of the building and to extend our facilities to make them suitable for the next 50 yrs. 

By the end of our stay at High Leigh we felt very excited at the possibilities that may be open to us.

Since that time a core group made up of members of the DCC have been meeting regularly and working hard to move things forward, and considerable progress has been made particularly with applying to Trusts for urgent funding to repair the drainage and the roof.

However, before we do anything else, we need to consult the Church, our hall users, and the community to ask what everyone thinks about our buildings – what we like, what we don’t like and what we would like to see in the future.  So the first stage is to ask you, Christ Church, what your views are so that we can serve the community better in the years to come

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Pierce Family
Revd Dan Pierce - Pioneer Team Vicar to the Billericay & Little Burstead Team Ministr

Dan writes:
Originally from the West Country, I have lived in the North East for the last few years (I’m currently Assistant Curate of St John the Baptist, Stockton-on-Tees with St James’, Hardwick, Durham Diocese). I am married to Ruth and we have three energetic sons, Rory (7), Joseph (6) and Luke (1).

I went to Bible college at 18 but it has been quite a long route to ordained ministry since that time, taking me through youth and schools work, living abroad and a spell as a supermarket security guard. I trained for pioneer ministry at Cranmer Hall in Durham but took an ordinary curacy in a traditional, catholic parish. Given my charismatic evangelical roots this was a pretty unusual path but I am persuaded that we can move deeper in our worship as we are prepared to explore beyond that which feels naturally comfortable.

I like to dabble in creative arts, collaging, writing and generally making a mess for my own amusement. I have not yet made anything I would necessarily consider for public consumption but I get a lot out of it. Ruth and I like to unwind with a drama or comedy series and takeaway. We are huge fans of The West Wing (Martin Sheen is one of my heroes). I have recently enjoyed novels by Cormac McCarthy, James Salter, Marilynne Robinson and Chaim Potok. Among my other interests are song writing and performing in a Teesside folk collective and football (watching and playing). I have been a Manchester United fan for over thirty years, something I have happily managed to nurture in Rory but sadly Joe supports Spurs like his mum. Luke is undecided, obviously!

The Team Rector writes:
Dan will be Licensed by Bishop Stephen on Tuesday 10 November 2015 at 7.30 pm at Emmanuel Church. Please keep Dan, Ruth and the boys in your prayers as they leave their current parish and make plans to move to Billericay.

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Mission HutChrist Church 50th Birthday - 12th December 2015

Christ Church celebrates its 50th birthday this year and on Saturday 12 December we will be having a big party to celebrate. More details of the event will follow in due course, but please do save the date in your diaries.

Do you have the current address of any past members of Christ Church who we could invite to the Thanksgiving Service and lunch on 13 December? If you do please pass it on to Rev Margaret Fowler or the Church Office.

Do you have any photographs of past events at Christ Church you would be willing to share? Ian Eayres is doing an excellent job of making digital copies of old photos, which represent Christ Church’s history, to display at the celebrations in December. If you have any you could to add to his collection please contact Ian Eayres via the office

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Youth News Update - 24th August 2015

Liz SkudderLiz has been busy over the summer term and holidays. Taking part in some regular activities and some new ones too. 

Easter feels like it happened a long time ago. Since Polar Explorers and Eastingle Liz has been focussing on being in school and helping some of year six (10 and 11 year olds) to think about their future. Mayflower visited Canterbury Cathedral and the church was open to several groups of year 7 students throughout June, for them to compare and contrast the different places of worship. Liz, along with Ruth and Sue - the Schools Ministry team, spent a couple of mornings in Buttsbury Junior School working with year 6. The team discussed the good, the bad and the ugly of moving on to Secondary school and shared their experiences as well as some student experiences of life in a bigger school. Year 6 enjoy their post-SAT lessons - they are very relaxed and honest about what they might encounter in school. Pray for all of them - most are attending Mayflower High School and a few are moving to schools that are further afield. 

Unfortunately, one of the main events of the year - SOLID - didn't happen, so the focus was firmly on making sure Friday night youth group was a good! We hosted one Table Talk event at the start of June and we welcomed TASTE into school for the last week of June, seeing 60 young people to Emmanuel Church for a very special Gig Night. The final night of term was great too - there were 33 young people eating their way through burgers and chips in the style of FIVE GUYS (pop to Lakeside to experience this properly). The young people always ask why there is a break, which is nice, but they have to remember that Liz needs time off too. Youth Group starts again on 11th September and we would love to see you from 8:30pm. You can find out more details on the rest of this website.

Liz's summer was unlike any other. After youth group had finished, Falcon Afloat was next on the list. Falcon holidays are headed up by CPAS and provide adventure holidays for young people who are disadvantaged in some way. Liz was part of a 12 person team, which was responsible for 22 young people for 5 days. The holiday was at Fellowship Afloat Charitable Trust and the theme was superheroes. Three young people from youth group and church attended and had great fun with the leaders and other young people.

The next adventure started the day after... 14 days at the Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC). Travelling through Europe by train (some lovely scenery and long tunnels!) and arriving in Switzerland on Swiss National Day. Warmly welcomed by the staff at KISC and the owners of the hotel. Liz and Ray spent two weeks with Scouts, Guides and Leaders from all over the world, talking about life at home, the value of Scouting, the history of Kandersteg and the importance of faith and belief. Liz and Ray were involved in several activities throughout the two weeks - invited on hikes and several parts of the mini-jamboree. Liz and Ray were working on behalf of the Intercontinental Church Society, so church and evangelism are high on the list of activities. Kandersteg has a wonderful church in the heart of the town and services are held on Sundays for English speakers. There were a lot of conversations with young people and leaders about God and who He is. Liz and Ray enjoyed their time in Switzerland and finished it with a mini-break in Cologne.

The autumn term is coming up quickly. School work starts in early September and Youth Group will be starting again. Please pray for Liz as she prepares for the term ahead - the run up to Christmas will be filled with services and lessons.

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Liz SkudderYouth News Update - 20th April 2015

Eastingle 2015Christmas to Easter has been another busy time for Liz. The year started with connecting with Ashley from Basildon Council, to discuss youth provision in Billericay and how the team can support young people it also included speaking to Come Together (2nd Sundays, 5.45pm, Church Hall) about what Jesus says about young people. Ignite met at the start of the year by sharing breakfast together on a Sunday morning and that continues to happen termly, warmly welcomed by the young people and leaders alike. Over the term we have written prayers and learnt about the church and the story of the crucifixion. Spark (the after school club for the Ignite age group) met for Pancakes just before half term, we had quite a lot of chocolate spread that day!

Make Lunch started to gather pace. Liz visited Thurrock Lunch Club during February half term to learn more about how to run a club and the beginnings of a team met in March to think about how many children and families we'd be able to reach in the local area. We hope to open two club sessions during May Half Term. February and March were spent preparing a lot of talks and services. Liz has been involved in preparing Celebration Sundays, with Rev. Margaret and some others. We will be celebrating something different every third Sunday throughout the year. Liz was also involved in the preparation and delivery of the Polar Explorers Holiday Bible Club, three days of fun and games in the church building for Primary aged children and Eastingle, a short family friendly service on Good Friday that completes the story from Christingle. Liz was able to share the Easter story with 80 people.

Easter Holiday Club April 2015
Whilst working with Schools Ministry Billericay, the team delivered Easter Lessons to over 500 young people, in Billericay School and Mayflower High School. We had a lot of fun using pipe cleaners and postcards to tell the story. We're looking forward to spending time with Year 7 as they discover Canterbury Cathedral during May. We'll also be opening the doors for the church project again.

Liz and Andy Butt ran two evenings for Year 9 at the end of the term. Table Talk is a lead discussion and they had a lot of discussion over pizza and drinks. Year 9 have asked for another couple of sessions, so please pray that we can provide an opportunity for more discussion.

At the beginning of the Summer Term, Liz is looking forward to youth group and going to Canterbury, working with Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Scout Groups on their Faith Badges. she's also looking forward to spending time with The Living Room (20's and 30's group) and celebrating the end of term with Ray and his youth group in July.

Thank you, 
God Bless,

Liz Skudder (nee Fisher)
Youth Outreach Worker

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Youth News Update - 1st January 2015

Well the autumn term is one of the busiest going for youth work. Lunchtime groups begin again, there are lessons in school, assemblies and youth group of course is the main focus. At the end of 2014, the diary was full of exciting opportunities to meet children and young people in their environment and tell them about God's love for them.

Youth Update - Jan 2015During the Harvest of 2014, Liz was welcomed into Buttsbury Infant School to speak at their Harvest assemblies about all of the things that God provides for us throughout the year. The picture on the left is a few of the 'lucky dip dinners' that started it all off.

Over the period of Advent, Christ Church was able to welcome year 3 and year 4 from St John's School to take part in a School's Ministry Billericay initiative called 'Amazing Christmas'. The children were treated to learning a lot about the first Christmas that they may not have known before through pictures, craft and the nativity. Liz was also involved in delivering lessons to year 7 at Mayflower about the real meaning of behind some of the aspects of the Christmas Story that aren't often talked about. On both occasions it was a privilege to tell the Christmas story over and over, some for the first time were hearing the God news of Christ.

The final piece of news to share with you is that we were able to work alongside year 8 students in early December as they visited a Gurdwara and Mosque. The students enjoyed their time in each place of worship and learnt about the differences between the religions and how each community is serving and living life. 

December was a very busy month and not everything Liz did is here. She hasn't mentioned Christingles, The Living Room Christmas Dinner, SMB Christmas get together, PLUS at youth group and loads of other things!

In 2015, Liz is looking forward to Easter and setting up Make Lunch, celebrating a year of marriage with Mr Skudder and getting to know the young people more as well as forming links with the youth workers who are employed by Basildon Council.

 

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